The One Habit That Will Singlehandedly Transform Your Life
Why Journaling is the most powerful habit you could have, and how to establish it.
That’s what most of us imagine when they hear “journaling”: a teenage girl confessing her celebrity crushes to her diary, at least according to my female friends. High school boys, mean girlfriends and struggle with identity are the favorite topics.
I also keep a journal. There’s only one striking difference: I’m a 26 year old male, and I rarely have celebrity crushes.
I journal because I believe it’s the single most powerful habit a person can have.
In the Tim Ferriss Show, the host of the same name deconstructs the habits and routines of highly successful people from all sorts of fields — scientists, athletes, politicians, entrepreneurs, CEOs, firefighters, authors and so on. In the early episodes, a book called the “5 minute journal” came up over and over again.
“Fuck it”, I figured. “If all these people are doing it, I might as well do it.”
The 5-minute-journal consists of five different prompts, three for the morning and two for the evening. I’ve played around with it for a while, but I really don’t like it.
While the prompts are good, I’ve always felt restricted in my expression of what I really wanted to say. I noticed myself writing down the same things over and over again. That might not necessarily be a bad thing, but if you just write down “my family and friends”, “good weather”, and “being healthy” every day, it misses the point.
You don’t reflect, you just automatically write down stuff.
It’s still better than not journaling at all, and increases awareness for the good things in life, but it doesn’t get the job done in my opinion.
Something had to change. In 2017, I bought a A5 notebook with blank pages and nothing else. And then, I sat down to write.
43 minutes later I looked up. I had written one and a half pages (five pages for normal people — my handwriting is tiny) as you can see below.